I have allergies. So many that when I went to the doctor a while ago because I was exhausted, she discovered that I was tired because, when I slept, it was like “breathing through a straw.” Then she asked if I’d ever been tested.
I had not, since in my youth (ah, those halcyon days when my allergies were about two weeks in spring and one in fall), it wasn’t a big deal and I pretty much assumed that I was allergic to trees and plants and stuff. And, by the way, why do I have to be involved in the trees’ reproduction? I’m perfectly happy that they get on with it, without me being aware of it.
After fainting just after the blood draw (by the way, that is an excellent way to get attention from medical professionals in case you wanted some), and recovering, my test results came back.
I am allergic to (big breath) a number of trees, weeds, grasses and dust. I am further allergic to wheat, corn, scallops, shrimp, walnuts, peanuts, and sesame. I am mildly allergic to the rest of the universe (including cats and dogs!). The only good thing about this is that I am not throat-closing-up-deathly allergic to any of this–I get sneezy and stuffy.
The doctor recommended that I try not eating any of the things that I am allergic to–the fishy things were not a problem, since I am a vegetarian, but wheat? Combining that with the vegetarianism, and the unsatisfying nature of many gluten free foods, and I didn’t last a month.
I discovered quite some time ago that Claritin D is the best anti-allergy product for me. It doesn’t make me sleepy or hyper. I don’t get a lot of side effects from it (apart from the occasional sore throat). I adore it.
So do the people who make meth–that lovely pseudoephedrine that makes it so that I can breathe without sounding like Darth Vader is the same stuff that people make meth from. (By the way, my part of the world? I’m pretty sure that our greatest manufacturing industry is the making of meth–artisanal, homemade, lovingly crafted meth).
This means that every fifteen days I hie myself to the nearest Rite-Aid, sniffling and plugged up, go to the pharmacist’s bit, show my id, scan my id, scan my Plenti card, scan a coupon (if I’m lucky) and then pay between $17-$22 so that I can breathe. If I’m lucky and timed everything perfectly.
This is all pretty annoying (yes, it could be worse). And if there’s a snow storm, or I’ve miscalculated (because a person can only buy so much “product” in a month), I have to suffer (mildly, yes). And somehow the people who are producing the meth seem to have plenty of raw product to play with, according to the grand jury reports in the paper, at least.
I have a few ideas on how to make this work a little better for…I would say everyone, but I mostly mean me. One–make Claritin prescription again (this has the added benefit of lowering my costs (and increasing them for everyone else, yes). It might cut down a bit on the meth folk’s acquisition of it.
Two–have a program like the TSA’s PreCheck program. Some hard-working agent could peer at my life, see that I have diagnosed allergies (maybe a note from my doctor) and I could buy the drug that makes my life so much easier without being treated like a pre-criminal.
Three–Make all the Claritin tamper resistant. I know that this is possible since Rite-Aid has a version available (which I will try after I use up my coupons–never doubt the power of coupons).
Four–I’m not sure. Rejigger humans so that their brains don’t turn into pinball machines on meth? Magically cure all allergies (I’ve tried reasoning with my immune system, telling it that tree pollen and dust aren’t actually dangerous, but does it listen to me?)? Unicorns? I’m open to suggestion here.